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U.S. Soldiers, Families Brace for More Deployments

In Colorado, Tom Bearden visited Fort Carson Army base to speak with troops ahead of President Obama's unveiling of his new Afghanistan plan.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Part two of our reporting comes from NewsHour correspondent Tom Bearden. He visited a military community in Colorado over the weekend.

  • WOMAN:

    The returning soldiers of the 10th Combat Support Hospital.

  • TOM BEARDEN:

    Fort Carson has staged a lot of coming-home ceremonies. This one was for 300 soldiers of the 10th Combat Support Hospital.

    They returned on Saturday night, after spending a year in Iraq. But even though these soldiers had just touched down on home soil, their families were already anticipating their next deployment.

    Stephanie Beck's husband is a specialist with the unit.

  • STEPHANIE BECK:

    I know he's going to — to deploy in the future. And there is already a rumor that he's going to deploy. So, we are going to prepare for it while he's home and, you know, do the best that we can when he's gone.

  • TOM BEARDEN:

    Captain Tim Whoolery is a nurse and the father of three children.

  • CAPTAIN TIM WHOOLERY, U.S. Army:

    I think you go through phases. Right now, I think everyone is just excited to be home. To think about going again and being separated again right away is very difficult. But, after awhile, the idea of what you have accomplished, the memories and the feeling of accomplishment helps you to get ready for the next move.

  • TOM BEARDEN:

    Over the past eight years, units from Fort Carson have primarily been deployed to Iraq, but that started to change this year.

    Currently 4,000 Fort Carson soldiers are in Afghanistan and 3,500 more will be sent next summer.

    Army regulations don't permit soldiers to talk to the media about policy decisions, like a potential surge in Afghanistan, while they're in uniform. But the soldiers and their families we talked to were unanimous in saying they were ready to do whatever is asked of them.

    Sergeant Varion Forrest has served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. But, this weekend, he was the one in the audience, welcoming home his wife from her deployment with the hospital unit.

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